Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Waukesha's Great Lakes water diversion has wetland implications. Who knew? Hearing planned.

I'd posted last week about ongoing sprawl implications of the Great Lakes diversion for Waukesha - - and what do you know, that project also has some under-the-radar wetland issues that require a public hearing.
a wetland in May

Here are the details and more about how and where to weigh in:

City of Waukesha Wetlands and Waterways and EIS Public Hearing

CONTACT: Sarah Hoye, DNR Communications Director, 608-267-2773 or sarah.hoye@wisconsin.gov

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is holding a public hearing on the wetland and waterways permit application for the City of Waukesha's proposal to divert water from Lake Michigan for its municipal water supply. The hearing will also cover the DNR's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the overall diversion project.

The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, 2019, at Carroll University's Shattuck Music Center-Shattuck Auditorium 122, located at 218 N. East Avenue, Waukesha. The public is encouraged to attend the hearing to provide written or oral comments on the permits and EIS.

Members of the public can also submit comments to the DNR through September 19, 2019.

In June 2016, the Great Lakes Compact Council approved the City of Waukesha's request to divert 8.2 million gallons per day under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.

Waukesha is applying for wetland and waterway permits to construct a water supply system to divert water from Lake Michigan and a return system. The treated wastewater will return to Lake Michigan by way of the Root River.

Installation of the project will have a temporary impact on approximately 7.91 acres of wetland and a permanent impact on less than 0.01 acres of wetland. The project includes the installation of a permanent outfall structure on the Root River.

The proposed pipeline route would cross a total of 22 navigable waterways. Of these, three crossings are proposed to be open cut (or dredged) requiring waterway permits. The other 19 are proposed to cross in a manner that will not disturb the waterways.

The DNR has tentatively determined to approve the wetland and waterway permits for the proposed project. In addition to the wetland and waterway permit review process, the DNR has analyzed the overall diversion project using the EIS process.

In 2015, the DNR issued a draft EIS, held three public hearings and received public comments. The DNR responded to comments and issued a preliminary final EIS in January 2016. Waukesha has provided the DNR with supplemental information, and the DNR has completed the EIS.

Written comments can be sent by email to DNROEEACOMMENTS@WI.GOV or by U.S. mail to Geri Radermacher, 141 NW Barstow St., Room 180, Waukesha WI 53188. For consideration, comments must be postmarked no later than September 19, 2019. Visit the DNR website for more information about the permitting process and the DNR's EIS related to the City of Waukesha's diversion of Lake Michigan water.

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